Purwokerto - Wonosobo

Railway line development of Purwokerto-Wonosobo line starts in gradually from 1893-197 by SDS (Serajoedal Stoomtram Maatschappij) private railway company. This rail line development was proposed by sugar factory in Banyumas area. Rail line position of Purwokerto-Wonosobo is not far away from sugar factory in Banyumas because it will be used routinely to transport factory sugar product. Purwokerto - Wonosobo railway line with 92.1 km is thorough Purwokerto, Sokaraja, Banjarsari, Klampok, Banjarnegara, and Wonosobo (east side). After that, they also built Banjarsari - Purbalingga branch line (7 km length) which operated in 1900. SDS also builds railway line that connects Purwokerto – Patikraja – Sampang - Maos (south side) with 29 km and inaugurated in 1896.

This line was first tested for Netherlands East Indies goods transportation purpose. Later on, this company has operated freight wagon and passenger car for public use. Trains that cross this line become Banyumas people favorite because it’s effective and cheap.

Big private companies that have interest in and a lot of using train service is sugar factory. After it is starting to operate, sugar factory cargo and stuffs start to transport by train. Sugar factory stuff that transport by train is factory tools like limestone, machines, metal, fuel and sugar coated.

It is also loaded with cane equipment like cane seed and fertilizer. All goods are imported from outside Banyumas even from foreign country. Goods that sent out from Banyumas is sugar and cane syrup. These goods were brought to Cilacap harbor for shipped to other country or take to Maos station by Staats Spoorwegen (SS) railway company train to Batavia (Jakarta).

Beside sugar cane plantation, Wonosobo area is rich with tobacco and agriculture. Crop yield and tobacco in North area Wonosobo (Dieng) transported by train. In it glorious day, 1 train sequence consist of freight wagon and passenger car. 1 train sequence can take 5 carts. Freight wagon usually loaded by crop like vegetables and tobacco. At that time, there is twice train schedule from Wonosobo which is morning and evening, also twice from Purwokerto which is also morning and evening that using 2 carts. Between the stations that have depot is Purwokerto station, Banjarnegara station and Klampok station.

In line with highway transportation development, railway line route Purwokerto - Wonosonbo was closed in 1978 because cannot compete with highway transportation. The only left is Purwokerto - East Purwokerto rail line (5 km) which using for goods train transportation until 1985. Today Purwokerto - Wonosobo railroad has damage condition because it is not using for more than 24 years. The damages include rail asset, bridge and station. Railway infrastructure has been using by other parties for highway, houses, farming, stores and public infrastructure. Less than 10 percent from 92.1 km total length are left, meanwhile 90 percent of railroad has been unloaded.

Purwokerto - Wonosobo rail line route can be develop for tourism train. In this route was crossing rural and highway view so giving rural atmosphere. In Wonosobo city, there is tourism destination like Kalianget warm water bath and Menjer pond.

  Copyright © 2010 - Conservation and Heritage Center, Indonesian Railways
Photo's Courtesy KITLV, The Netherlands